My wife and I spent about three weeks in Texas this winter. Texans are, as a group, pretty clueless about themselves and how they are perceived outside of the Silly South. National politics and most of the pressing issues of the day are beyond their limited comprehension. For example, if you were to ask a Texan about goofy, illiterate, criminally-vicious Governor Perry, you’ll hear strange things like “he’s the cutest governor in the nation” and “the problem was the debates” (not Perry’s inability to put together a sentient sentence or comprehend a single issue in an adult manner).
The state’s highways are not only poorly maintained, but they are miserably engineered (poor materials, terrible workmanship, and often dished instead of arched for drainage, at the least). Texans blame their weather, in spite of the fact that New Mexico and Oklahoma highways are unarguably better roads and subjected to similar or worse weather. The problem isn’t the environment, other than the corrupt, inbred, good-ole’-boy way of doing business in Texas. You have not seen lethargic road construction crews until you’ve been to Texas in the springtime. They have three-legged shovels to keep the “workers” from falling over.
Thanks to Texas’ dimbulb state government, the state’s low income citizens are deprived of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, since Perry and his cronies turned down the federal funding to fill in the ACA’s “donut hole.” The Texas Republicans are hoping that the state’s voters are brainless enough to pin the blame on Obama and “liberals”; and they’re probably right. Texas voters are notoriously foolish. Texans believe the rest of the country suffers from the same problems, but Texans are so on the defensive when they leave their hell-hole of a home they are unable to see how much better off many less natural resource endowed states are than Texans.
This isn’t new. “At the risk of descent into unscientific generalization, I must report to you that ninety percent of Texans give the other ten percent a bad name.” John H. Holliday reporting on his Dallas, Texas experiences to his Georgia fiancé, Martha Anne. Nothing appears to have changed in 130 years. There is a wonderful tiny core of Texans who stand out as stark anomalies in comparison to the majority of the state’s residents. Many of them, however, are not native Texans and will probably leave the state if it continues to de-evolve. Texas suffers under the illusion that the nation needs them, but the opposite is the true situation. Texas desperately needs the brains, work ethic, science, and engineering provided to that state by the rest of the country; mostly the dreaded “Yankees.”
Actual economic activity in the majority of Texas is limited to second hand shops and gun stores. Cruising through the dead state’s small towns, one thing stands out; gun sales are up even if every other business in town is down. It is simply amazing how many gun shops there are between the boarder at Clovis, New Mexico and the Oklahoma state line near Arkansas. You’d think there was something, other than people, to hunt in Texas. There is, in fact, but hunting in Texas is the sort of thing Dick Cheney does for fun; domestically raised “wild animals” chained to posts so the big game hunters can find, shoot, and call in the help to haul away the day’s slaughter from the convenience of a golf cart. Otherwise, the state’s natural game has been long disposed of. Texas is pretty much a dead zone, outside of the national parks. The place has been raped and pillaged so completely that flies are about the only natural fauna left in the place. They have plenty of flies, though. And guns.
On our way out of the state, Fort Hood suffered another mass shooting from another deranged military vet. It’s not an unusual occurrence in Texas. In 2012, College Station enjoyed the attention of one of the NRA’s finest, Thomas Alton Caffall III, who pretty much limited his aim to local police officers and himself. The whole sniper-in-the-public thing started off in Texas, back in 1966, with ex-Marine Charles Whitman blasting 16 students from the University of Texas’ Tower. Texans love their guns and are pretty fond of killing each other with guns, staying in the top 15 gun-violence states consistently for decades. “In Texas, rocks are considered inadequate weaponry during school yard scuffles. Dallas children carry a brace of loaded pistols, a concealed Deringer [sp], and a six-inch toadsticker in one boot. That’s the girls, of course. Boys bring Howitzers to class.” John H. Holliday wrote to his cousin and ex-dentist partner, Robert Holliday. Nothing has changed. Texans love their guns and love using them to make as much misery as possible.
After a couple of weeks in Texas, my wife and I shared Doc Holliday’s opinion, “I believe I have enjoyed about as much of Texas as I can stand.” And we were right on the border of Texas and Oklahoma at Lake Texoma in a private park that was as pleasant as any place I’ve ever seen in Texas or the south. Next time we travel to New Mexico, I believe we’ll go by way of Denver.